Chatteris and March are becoming a national strong hold for water voles, according to a wildlife survey.
- Credit: Archant
The Fens are becoming a national strong hold for water voles despite the species going into decline across the rest of Britain, according to a survey.
Ditch maintenance, a good range of food and the deep water they like are thought to be critical in giving them a stable habitat.
The survey involved two ditches between March and Chatteris - Curf Fen and Ransonmoor.
Ruth Hawksley, of the Wildlife Trust, which carried out the survey, said: “Our results support the Trust’s belief that the Cambridgeshire fens are a regionally, and possibly nationally, important stronghold for water voles.
“Surveying for water vole signs can be very enjoyable but also very demanding along Fenland drains.
“Our survey only covered two of the 36 districts in the Middle Level catchment, but it revealed that internal drainage board drains can provide a large connected area of good water vole habitat.”
Cliff Carson, environmental officer for the Middle Level Commissioners, said: “It is good to have confirmation that regular maintenance carried out by drainage boards in the Middle Level catchment not only does not harm water voles but is actually a positive action.
- 1 Glasses smashed and beer poured on pub floor after alcohol refusal
- 2 Roll up, roll up, for the Fenland Council mini ‘sale of the century’
- 3 £14.6m school transformation complete after two-year project
- 4 Man suffers injuries after A142 morning crash
- 5 Teenage moped rider seriously injured in crash
- 6 Police ‘increasingly concerned’ for woman missing since Wednesday
- 7 Zip-shaped mark on Rikki's body came from his anorak – the one used to strangle him, court told
- 8 ‘Loved and valued volunteer’ shares her special bond with charity
- 9 WATCH: Emotional tribute to honour and remember crash victim
- 10 Wife pays tribute to ex-footballer who 'I could always rely on'
“It maintains the water plants, structure and cover at drain margins that water voles need to breed successfully and retain a stronghold in the Fens.”
The report says Ransonmoor Curf Fen have similar habitats and maintenance regimes.
At Ransonmoor there is a high and consistent occupancy while at Curf Fen they appear to move around.
Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers surveyed 307 ditch sections, covering more than 80km of ditch on foot or by boat, in collaboration with Mr Carson.
Their results repeated surveys carried out in 2010 and 2005.
¶ Cliff Carson, environmental officer for the Middle Level Commissioners, offers a free annual two-part training course on the identification of water vole and otter field signs.
The next course dates are April 21 pm and the April 23 am. Only 25 places. Booking is essential. Contact email@example.com.